At Partners in School Innovation, we pride ourselves in making the long-term, shoulder-to-shoulder commitments that are vital to achieving sustainable improvement. Our Intensive model embeds a dedicated School Innovation Partner in a school for 3.5 days per week. This person becomes a seamless part of the school staff, charged with supporting the principal and leadership team in implementing a systems-based approach to continuous improvement.
The school receives support in: ongoing assessment of school successes and challenges against a research-based rubric, development of a theory of action, implementation of a professional learning plan, development and co-facilitation of a high-functioning instructional leadership team, direct teacher coaching, data analysis and data-based decision-making, backwards planning and lesson design, and more. As school staff build their skill in our continuous-improvement methods, they assume more and more leadership of the transformation so they can sustain momentum on their own.
In places where we have implemented the Intensive model, such as San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Grand Rapids, we helped build a more vibrant teaching and learning community, and our partner schools accelerated student achievement relative to similar district schools — particularly among African American, Latino, and English learner students.
In some cases, we have supplemented the Intensive model with professional learning communities (PLCs) that span multiple schools in a district — e.g., for principals, elementary math teachers, and instructional leadership teams. These PLCs allow job-alikes to learn from each other and support each other’s professional growth, and they reinforce the changes happening at the Intensive sites.